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Want to Feel Better? Be a Five-Year-Old

Posted Jun 16 2011 7:00am

When was the last time you played like a five-year-old?

If it was when you actually were five years old, then this is an emergency. Go get a box of crayons, stat!

I have the luxury of enjoying the company of a five-year-old regularly. My niece, Emmy, is currently teaching me about living joyfully. She’s reminding me of all the things I forgot from my five-year-old days, and I have to say, I think these are really the essentials a person needs in life.

Here’s a summary:

1)     Play hard, then sleep hard. Preferably with your dog snuggled next to you.

2)     Eat what you love, even if it is mostly cheese with a side of cheese.

3)     Be amazed at yourself and proud of your accomplishments, even seemingly small ones.

4)     Cry when you need to cry.

5)     Be enthusiastically interested in whatever you’re doing now, until it’s time to switch gears.

6)     When it’s time to switch gears, switch.

Things I’ve done recently with my niece include dancing the hokey pokey, eating spaghetti, seeing the movie Tangled (sooooo awesome!), playing at the park, coloring, and shopping. Each of these adventures has been at least as useful as an hour of therapy. Kid fun is infectious, and it reminds me that play for play’s sake, whether I’m playing with writing chapters in my book or coloring in a princess coloring book, is possibly the most important thing I can do with my time.

Want to create more energy in your life? Want to feel better? Want to have a better relationship with your body?

Play.

I asked Emmy today how she has so much energy. She mulled it over for a minute. “I think,” she said, “kids just like to do stuff, and so they just keep doing it.”

That about sums it up. Do what you love. Play at it, don’t work at it. Love what you do. Love you. Life – all you really need to live it to its fullest potential is everything you knew when you were five.

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